In January 2014, the Western New York Land Conservancy permanently protected 90-acres of farmland – home to Frank and Linda Meyer – in the Town of Eden. The Meyer Farm conservation easement will ensure that the farmland remains available for agriculture even as development pressure increases in the surrounding area. This $244,000 project was made possible thanks to $120,000 from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, $60,000 from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and $4,000 from the Town of Eden, as well as a bargain sale of the development rights by the owner that reduced the cost by $60,000.
The grandfather of Dr. Frank Meyer, the owner, purchased this land in the 1800s. While the Meyers don’t farm the land, it has long been used for both vegetable production and field crops.
Eden has a very long history of working to keep its farms and farmland productive. The Town has both an Agricultural Advisory Committee and a Conservation Advisory Committee. The process of developing an Agricultural & Farmland Protection Plan in 2008 and 2009 renewed interest in permanent farmland protection. The Meyer parcel was among the first properties identified as a strong candidate for protection. At that time, the Town received a donation of funds designated for farmland protection from the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Subsequently, the project was selected for funding from the federal Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program.
With the purchase of development rights complete and a conservation easement now in place, the Meyer Farm becomes the second farmland property in Eden to be protected by the Land Conservancy, following 2012’s 102-acre Surgenor Farm. The Land Conservancy recently received several large, private donations from Town of Eden residents to expand the farmland protection program there.